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About Shepherd1

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    First Sea Lord

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    1000 Islands, Ontario

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  1. Never was a fan of the earlier Commander 3000 controls from Mercury. If the problem is indeed the shifter, I HIGHLY recommend the following: MerCruiser Gen II shifter with chrome handle (same as is finally used in 2012 Chaparral MerCruiser powered SSi boats) MerCruiser part # 8M0030551 Going from this style shifter: MerCruiser Gen II Premium shift and throttle cables MerCruiser part # 8M0082537 is a 14' Gen II cable. If you need a 13' cable, you would order 8M0082536. Current length in feet of the cables should be stamped on the shrouding) i.e. Generally shift on a MerCruiser is 1' shorter than the throttle cable. The Gen II style shifters are much smoother to operate than the older styles. When you move the handle, the cables don't move outside of the remote control - all movement is completed inside the box. This means bulkheads, etc. can be resting on the cables, with no real detriment to shift and throttle cable movement. In short, if the boat was mine, and the shifter and remote control cables were the problem, this is what I would install in their place. Some light modifications may be required for mounting, but we're talking drilling or filing holes in the plywood in different places or slightly larger and perhaps cutting some vinyl in a few spots with an exacto knife. Did this same project on our own boat, and was very glad I did it.
  2. I hear Brunswick is looking to sell Sea Ray. My understanding is that they have been using profits from Boston Whaler to keep Sea Ray viable. If this is the case, management must have gotten tired of it...
  3. Like your thinking! Not personally a fan of Exide batteries. I really like Optima (not cheap) and Deka too. (aka East Penn). I know Deka (East Penn) supplies batteries to Mercury (Quicksilver) and Yamaha among others. Up here in the Great White North, Exide supplies Crappy Tire, so I don't purchase batteries from them. NOTE: for anyone with a boat that is stored for 30 days or more, I HIGHLY recommend removing the negative battery cables off the battery(s) to prevent parasitic discharge, especially on newer large boats.
  4. If interested, in order to get more power out of your 496 Mag, you can make it into an HO by installing different cam, sending ECM to Whipple, etc. for a reflash, and removing the restrictor plate in the throttle body.
  5. You're right in that the Merc and Volvo gauges look the exact same. Do use different languages though, so going with old part number is pretty critical.
  6. I don't recommend going down to 22" Bravo 3 props. I honestly can't imagine that the 24" props ran like fecal matter. 22" sure would be nice if you're planning on your ride becoming a refugee boat. Beyond that, the engine is straining for nothing. Louder, thirstier, slower. 5150 RPM for cut-out sounds like for 496 Mag HO (rev range 4600-5000), not the standard 496 Mag. (rev range 4400-4800) NOTE: you could opt for a Teleflex (now SeaStar) HPS rotary steering system for less slop, but your current helm is the Teleflex OEM splined style, not the keyed standard type. Would require a new steering wheel. I don't think Teleflex makes an HPS OEM version helm though. Often gimbal ring and square/square steering shaft take a beating too.
  7. I think you'll be SOL coach, but try contacting Ameritex; believe they made your original canvas. If they can or are even willing to make it, they would need the reference numbers off the tags for each section. Lots of running changes over the years, and they could have made several different versions during the MY 2008 build run for instance. Nice boat BTW. Most people are forced to get a local canvas shop to make what they need after this many years. Don't be afraid to be picky IMHO.
  8. Pretty sure your boat will have the VeeThree SmartCraft gauges. In this case, the tachometer is the boss gauge, and most problems start and end there. Chaparral had a test kit for their dealers to use for diagnostics, but I typically found having a known working tachometer of the proper version to be the fastest test. Lights flickering is probably due to a loose connection. Connector type is Deutsch; can't recall the size. Maybe some of the parameters have been turned off in settings for some reason? Wiring colour guide to the best of my memory: yellow is ground blue is gauge lights gray is tachometer red is 12 volt power white? (I don't recall)
  9. Here's two options. Still trying to recall the guy from California that I had heard of. As far as I can make out, Bob from mefiburn has some serious internet cred.
  10. If your engine RPM range is 4400-4800, then I'm thinking the engine is either a MerCruiser 5.7L carbureted model, or maybe 5.7L EFI. If the boat was mine, I would do the following depending on power train and options boat currently has on it. - install extended swim platform (if not already equipped with one) - install SeaDek pad for greater grip and comfort (link below fits factory OEM extended swim platform) NOTE: the 2 options listed above IMHO are by far the best bang for the buck for water sports and general all around daily use. * if engine is carb'd, install 4 bbl Weber or Edelbrock carb (intake, fuel line, brackets, etc. from say 1996 MerCruiser 5.7 LX) vs. spending roughly similar money on different props * if engine is EFI, there is a guy in California who can do a recal on MEFI 1 and 2 ECM'a for extra power. - place the drive in the Bravo 1 position, and adjust the trim senders for faster hole shot with less bow rise Lastly, for owners who have MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI engines, Merc changed their top RPM spec numbers sometime around 2005 to 4800-5200. If memory serves Merc changed the cam and ECM calibration for the extra 200 RPM.
  11. MerCruiser 5.0L carb or 5.0L MPI?
  12. That is a really nice boat. Should show in the owners manual what battery positions the switches should be in for 'normal' operation. Solid alarm I believe will come on with voltage below 10 volts. EFI engines communicate with their sensors and switches, etc. using voltage, and once battery voltage drops down below say 11 volts, the ECM has difficulties, and thus sounds the alarm. Seeing you have MerCruiser power, I would check the orange wire on the back of each alternator. Often the ring terminal that attachs to the alternator stud breaks from age and vibration, and thus can't charge the battery. Should this be the problem, ensure you turn the battery switches to off before effecting repairs. On a side note, I HIGHLY recommend installing SeaDek to your extended and integrated swim platforms; gives even more grip and comfort to knees etc. without getting hot. 2nd best investment I did on my own boat, after installing the ESP, but I see your boat already has the optional factory ESP installed. One other thing I liked to do on that model was install an OceanAir Skyscreen sunshade and mosquito cover inside the cockpit. Came standard on 290 Signature, etc. from early 2000's and on. 2830 SS and 280 SSi are bow rider versions, and essentially the exact same boat 2835 SS and 285 SSi are cuddy cabin versions, and essentially the exact same boat
  13. Easy guys both raise valid points and I feel you both know your stuff. Merc and Volvo both make good products and I wish they would both steal each others good ideas and drop their poor ones. Volvo is such a PITA to look up parts for, but I do find them easier to work on. Merc's warranty system is far easier to use IMHO too. Prefer the shift movement of the 2005 and newer Bravo drives to the newer Volvo DPS-A and DPS-B drives. Steering feel is a little light and effortless for my liking on the Volvo's vs Merc, but that is a personal preference. Before I drove the new Volvo GM LS series 6.0L V8-380 and V8-430 engines, I was VERY skeptical that they would hold up vs proven big block V8 power. After driving them, and having serviced them since 2012 or so, the 6.0L engines I've been around have held up with very few issues. Only issues that come to mind are the heat exchanger recall work from a few years ago, and currently the recall to replace the plastic exhaust adapter on the risers with nickel coated brass adapters for early version V8-380 and V8-430 engines. The most common failures I've seen on the Volvo power trains of the modern era has been leaking drive yoke seals, power steering actuators and power trim cylinders which in truth is really related to the drive/transom design and not the engine. Happens on both old school Volvo small block and new small block engines. Thankfully the power trim cylinder design was changed several years ago. Possible the yoke seal leaks are a result of over filling the Volvo drives with too much gear oil, which can happen pretty easily if a person is not paying attention. For our area in fresh water, muskrats sadly like to chew on the plastic power trim hoses - wish they'd kept using braided ss power trim hoses like in the past. To be fair, Joe's 236 SSx is essentially a 220 SSi with big block power - aka REALLY fast and fun boat with big block V8 power - intoxicating. Would hesitate to guess at lowest RPM it would stay on plane with that engine, but probably quite low. General cruising speed would cover a lot of territory at 3200 RPM - very longed legged and effortless feel. Friends 264 Sunesta is a good deal heavier and has 2 degrees more dead rise with similar power output working against it for top speed and fuel economy numbers. In short, that 236 SSx is a fun and rewarding ride. Volvo could probably opt for the LS-A or maybe newer LT-4 supercharged engine to reach 550+ hp but don't seem interested in that market for whatever reason. Wish Merc had brought their QCV4 engine series down to the 380 plus hp range by making a smaller cubic inch and detuned version. That is a serious engine that can run wide open pretty much all day. We'll see how the direct injection works out long term reliability wise for the new Volvo 6.2L, 5.3L and 4.3L engines. Only time will tell. FWIW, in our area, we can only get 91 octane fuel with no ethanol for marinas. Unless someone has a direct question to me, this will be my only post to this thread.
  14. I don't own a 257 SSx, nor do I wish to speak for anyone else, but if I had the cash for a new 25' sterndrive sport boat, pretty sure that would be my first pick. Personally I would opt for a Volvo GM 6.0L or latest Gen V 6.2L version powertrain . Made in V8-350, V8-380, or V8-430 hp versions vs. the MerCruiser 8.2L big block offerings. Latest Volvo GM Gen V 6.2L offers direct fuel injection, along with closed cooling, all aluminum design, variable valve timing and super easy winterization feature. Weighs about 300 lbs. less than the MerCruiser 8.2L engines. The only real gripe I have with Volvo vs. Merc is that they are loud for exhaust noise, and EVC is a must have IMO to help tame throttle changes for tubing, etc. Another 25' that is pretty nice is a Cobalt R5, but the bucket seats aren't even close to the Chaparral style for comfort or useability. Don't understand why Cobalt still uses them, but they're rubbish. 257 SSx is easily better boat all around at least to me. Here's a video that I found to bet the most entertaining. Back from 2013, but the basic design and features are essentially unchanged. Have fun shopping. Price wise, '07 246 SSi was essentially a 230 SSi with a new deck. SSx is Chaparral's premier line, and have features and content to match.
  15. Nice looking boat. Lots of nice touches. Windlass, seating layout, dash and head design look to be fantastic. A few items I'm so no enthused about: - Simrad and Garmin glass cockpit; I personally like Garmin (a personal preference) but the older SSi design dash switches worked well for seeing at night. Not a fan of these new dash switches when using them in the dark. - 3 piece vs 5 piece windshield had more eye candy and superior sight line IMHO - Chaparral seems to have gone away from using proper large oval grab rails on top of the deck in the bow like the older 256 SSi, etc. used. Oval design fit so much nicer than the round tube shape used on these later models - Cobalt look to the rear of the boat has some drawbacks...that rear transom area is just waiting to have gel coat fade issues form the sun and the rear cleats will give chaffing problems from a dock line going forward. See these 2 exact issues on Cobalt's ALL the time. No design is perfect however and I'm sure Chaparral will do well with this one.